The pro-Sharia forces in Mali need not worry. A few casualties, a few hostages, a few corpses dragged through the streets, and the French will go away, and Sharia will prevail. "France launches air strikes in Mali against Islamist rebels," by Elizabeth Pineau and Bate Felix for Reuters, January 11 (thanks to all who sent this in):
(Reuters) - France carried out air strikes against Islamist rebels in Mali on Friday as it began a military intervention intended to halt a drive southward by the militants who control the country's desert north.
Western governments, particularly former colonial power France, voiced alarm after the al Qaeda-linked rebel alliance captured the central Malian town of Konna on Thursday, a gateway towards the capital Bamako 600 km (375 miles) further south.
President Francois Hollande said France would not stand by to watch the rebels push southward. Paris, the leading advocate for foreign intervention in Mali, has repeatedly warned that Islamists' seizure of the country's north in April gave them a base to attack the West.
"We are faced with blatant aggression that is threatening Mali's very existence. France cannot accept this," Hollande said in a New Year speech to diplomats and journalists....
Asked whether the rebels intended to press ahead to capture Sevare and Mopti, the Ansar Dine spokesman, Sanda Ould Boumama, said: "We will make that clear in the coming days." He said French intervention was evidence of an anti-Islam bias....
Of course! What else could it be?